What to Wear on Memorial Day

what to wear on memorial day

Let’s be honest with ourselves: almost nobody wears tailored clothing on Memorial Day, which is a day generally dedicated to backyard grills, beer at noon, and a swimming pool or a beach if you’ve got one. I could sit here and tell you that you needed to wear a seersucker blazer, and you’d be like, “Cool, but what happens when I drop my burger on myself?” Frankly, you’d have a point. If we’re being even more honest with ourselves, let’s admit that we’re all most likely to end up in our most comfortable shorts, an acceptably clean shirt, and maybe a snazzy apron if we’re cooking and also really trying hard.

A few weeks back, I made some suggestions for packing for the long weekend, and with the realities of life in mind I’m going to re-up on those recommendations by laying out some suggestions that you might actually wear. You’ll note that all of the items – 9 in total – can be mixed and match to your heart’s desire.

First, if you’re going to a pool/beach/waterpark/slip ‘n slide, opt for a pair of swim trunks that make you look like a grown up. That means that they’re not actually running shorts (I mean, I’m guilty of that), and that they have some pockets so that you’re not carrying around everything you own like an idiot and/or losing it in the pool/ocean.

Second, there’s a good chance that you’ll want a pair of pants or jeans with you, wherever you are. Your festivities will probably last until the sun goes down, at which point you’ll be happy to have something to wear to counter the late spring chill.

Third, if you want to wear leather-soled shoes, go for something lightweight and flexible. Like, say, a pair of loafers. That way you can wear them with your shorts or your pants, and if you are headed to a place where you might not want to wear sneakers, loafers offer a casual alternative to laced shoes.

None of that means you can’t look nice, of course. Swap the aforementioned ‘comfy shorts’ for something a little sharper, put on a henley as opposed to a gym tee, and wear white jeans just because it’s summer and you can and you’ve got all year to wear your other, blue-er ones. My only other tip? Don’t wear anything tight. After three beers and two burgers (and innumerable handfuls of potato chips), you’re not going to want anything – shirt or trousers – to be tight around your waist.

Enjoy the long weekend, and stay safe!


Outfit 1: At the Pool
Outfit 2: By the Grill
Outfit 3: Evening Drinks

What to Wear to the Botanic Gardens

what to wear to the botanic gardens
I’m lucky enough to live only a few blocks from Denver’s (quite nice) Botanic Gardens, where my girlfriend and I are members. We probably go at least once a week, when it stays open later and we can visit in the early evening. If you haven’t been to your local botanic garden in a while, try to make the trip. It’s always nice to be surrounded by greenery, and taking the time to enjoy a slow stroll past the flowers is a fantastic way to de-stress yourself and force a little bit of relaxation.

While it’s not the ballet (and Denver’s not exactly a hotbed of well-dressed people), some of the guests do make an effort to look nice, which can be difficult in the heat. Make sure you’re dressed for the weather with lightweight, breathable clothing – and don’t bother wearing a tie. I’ve mentioned in the past my taste for summer jackets, but even when not wearing a jacket I like to have some sort of neck covering that keeps the sun off – it’s fierce, here. I also like to wear looser clothing in summer, which helps a bit with air circulation.

Finally, a straw hat is, I think, a must have for summer. It keeps the sun out of your eyes and off your shoulders, which can make the difference between enjoying a summer day and getting a headache by noon. Add to that your favorite pair of sunglasses, and spend your time enjoying a glass of strawberry lemonade while you look at pretty flowers.

Packing for a 3 Day Weekend Over Memorial Day

what to pack for a 3 day weekend packing for a 3 day weekend styleforum packing for a 3 day vacation what to pack for a 3 day vacation

The absolute most important rule of packing for a 3 day weekend, and in fact packing for any trip, is: don’t overpack. If you’ll be gone for 3 days, you probably won’t be needing 15 shirts when you wear the same 3 shirts all the time anyway (yeah, we know your secrets). Whether it’s by car or plane, you’re headed off to have fun, not to drag around a full-size checked bag that barely squeezes in under the weight limit. That’s a recipe for a bad time and a lot of stress during both the packing and unpacking periods. The only exception to the “don’t overpack” rule is socks and underwear. I’d recommend bringing an extra one or two pairs of each, because you never know what can happen.

Keep things simple. Pack items you can wear more than once, and pack your favorite pieces – the ones that all go together. Beyond that, think about what you’ll be doing. Nice dinner with family? Barbecue with friends? Running your yearly 10k? If you’re going to be lying by a pool or a beach all weekend, you probably won’t need a suit. On the other hand, if you’re meeting your grandparents for dinner, maybe you do (you probably don’t).

Here’s the thing: a lot of sites are going to tell you that you need things like laundry bags and dopp kits and endless accessories to be prepared for a 3 day weekend. And, if you’re throwing a bag in the back of a car, you have the freedom to pack some extra stuff. If you’re taking a plane, however, it just takes up a lot of room, and all your fancy skin creams and sunscreens are going to have to go in an infernal ziplock bag anyway. Instead of packing a laundry bag, either grab a plastic grocery bag (which can be used to protect your bag from a wet swimsuit), or just use a worn t-shirt to keep your dirty laundry separate in your bag from your clean.

If there’s anything that can’t get wrinkled, fold it flat on the bottom of your bag, then roll things such as tees and undies and pack those on top. If you’re not wearing a jacket to travel, try to keep an extra layer near the top of your bag in case you get chilly. You probably won’t need more than one pair of shoes, but if you’re set on bringing an extra pair, wear the ones that take up more room on your travel day – an elementary tip, but still.

For warm weather vacations, try to bring things that feel good against bare skin in case you don’t want to wear a shirt – that way, you can get up in the morning and pull on a sweater, overshirt, or even jacket against the chill and enjoy the feeling of fine fabric without anything getting in the way. And finally, don’t forget things like sunglasses, sunscreen, and swim trunks.

Oh, and if you’re planning on lounging in the sun, bring some reading material. It’s always nice to take a break from your backlit computer screen.

 

Clothing:

1. Visvim Shawl Collar Cord Jacket at Norse Store

2. Inis Meáin Linen Sweater at Mr. Porter

3. Eidos Band Collar Shirt in Indigo at Unionmade

4. Lady White Co. Tee from County Ltd.

5. Orslow “Ivy Fit” Denim from Blue Button Shop

6. Orlebar Brown “Bulldog” Short

 

Accessories:

Spring Style: Printed Blazer with White Jeans

blazer with white jeans and blazer styleforum printed blazer

I’ve long been a fan of printed blazers, and Post-Imperial, started by Styleforum member @Tirailleur1, brings a beautiful and unique perspective to tailored clothing. The garments are adire-dyed in Nigeria, the founder’s home country, before they’re constructed in New York. It offers a nice counterpoint to the European take on the flaneur, and is cosmopolitan and bohemian in a way that few brands manage to be. If you don’t believe me, believe Yasuto Kamoshita, who is often photographed wearing the ties.

Since it’s getting warmer out, a linen shirt is in order, and a popover is perfect for wearing tieless. Drake’s keeps releasing hit after hit, and their spring lookbook is fantastic – this wide-striped shirt will look equally nice under the jacket or alone, with the sleeves rolled up. It also comes in a spread collar variation, so you’re welcome to choose whichever style better suits your life.

Now, let’s take a moment to discuss white pants. White pants can be, in the right cut and setting, incredibly elegant and well-styled. The problem that I see most often is the propensity to wear them far, far too tight, which is really not something you want to do when wearing white pants, no matter the material. Jeans with a wider thigh – such as these bog-standard 501’s – will be more comfortable in the heat, and look better as well. If you’re really wanting to embrace the artiste vibe, hem the jeans to your ankle and leave them frayed and raw, just as the jacket sleeves are.

To finish it off, add a pair of woven loafers and a printed square. I like these from Barbanera, which are a little sleeker than your usual woven shoe without being too casual. The square is from Kiriko Made, and offers a nice complement to the tonal linen belt.

Finally, you may remember milliner Ana Lamata from our “Best of Pitti” series, and her gorgeous, sculptural, handmade straw hats are perfect for spring and summer. Keep in mind that she is also offers a fully bespoke service, should you decide that you want to work with her directly. The amount of work that goes into each hand-made piece is astonishing, and the results are beautiful.


How to Wear a Solaro Suit

how to style solaro suit how to wear solaro how to wear a solaro suit solaro styleforum

Summer, to any menswear aficionado, means Solaro. How could anyone not love a fabric that contains the essence of summer in its name?

Because of the neutral tone of the cloth, a Solaro suit is quite easy to wear, and you probably already have in your closet the right garments to complement it. Let’s explore a few options that will make the most out of your sophisticated Solaro suit.

Shirt

Because of the summer nature of the Solaro fabric, chances are you’ll want to wear a light shirt that will keep you cool. I would opt for an ivory/white shirt in linen or light cotton, with no pattern. Light blue works just as well, but be mindful not to add too many colors: the beauty of the Solaro lies in its red iridescence, and you shouldn’t wear any color that overshadows it.

Since Solaro suit pants look good even when separated from their jacket, your outfit will look put together even in case the heat will force you to remove the top part of the suit. You can even unbutton the first two buttons of the shirt, roll up the sleeves  and prepare to look as close to Gianni Agnelli as you’ll ever be.

Spezzato

I grew up in a country where men hardly wear suits with matching pants and jacket. Okay, this is an exaggeration, but I assure you that it’s not uncommon for Italians to play with their suits and mix & match their parts according to their mood and taste.

Because of the light tint of the fabric, a solaro suit will give you plenty of options should you decide to wear the pants and jacket separately. White is, again, an excellent pairing, as well as warm tones that flatter the red hue bleeding from the weave. If you’re feeling brave, you can even wear a pair of blue jeans, like style icon Lino Ieluzzi.

Accessories

A burgundy tie and an earth-toned pocket square will complement both the red and tan hues of the cloth, like the ever-impeccable Fabio Attanasio shows in the picture below. Naturally, since the Solaro is a light color fabric, you can go tie-less – as most people seem to prefer.


 

Usually solaro suits are made bespoke, but you can find ready-to-wear options such as this suit by Eidos for No Man Walks Alone. You can also get a made-to-measure, made in Italy Solaro suit by Lanieri.

Let us know if you’re the proud owner of a solaro suit or if you are considering stepping up your summer game and buying one in the near future. Don’t forget to share your pictures in the What Are You Wearing Today? thread on Styleforum!

If you would like to read more about Solaro, click here to learn about its history and why it makes a perfect choice for a summer suit.

For more inspiration about Italian style, check out the 5 Rules To Dress Like an Italian.

@AriannaReggio

Outfit Inspiration: The Patchwork Blazer

patchwork blazer styleforum

There are a few members on Styleforum who do the “Whimsical CM Casual” look pretty well. One is Gerry Nelson, who you’ve heard from on this very Journal, and whose style we’ve already covered. The other two are @Cotton Dockers and @ManofKent, two paragons of Styleforum virtue that excel at putting together relaxed, whimsical outfits. We can easily imagine either of them wearing something similar to what we’ve put together here.

This outfit, as you’ve probably gathered, is centered around a Barena patchwork blazer, a brand which has long enjoyed an enthusiastic, if muted, fanbase on the forum – it’s friendly to both casual outfits and streetwear getups alike, and is generally both comfortable to wear and individual enough to stand out. To emphasize it’s not-quite-classic features, we’ve combined it with a few other playful pieces.

The first is this pair of relaxed trousers from Marni. Loose through the thigh, they’re tapered and then cropped at the ankle for a breezy spring-and-summer weight and silhouette. A linen shirt from Lanieri is our one nod to convention, and depending on how you choose to order yours, can be worn tucked or untucked. At the bottom, we’ve gone with the endearing Paraboot “Michael” shoe, a classic of country-wear if there ever was one, to balance out the tapered trousers and add some bulk to the look. We want to nurture Barena’s innate pagan magic, and a pair of shoes perfect for tromping through the woods achieves just that.

To round things off, a pair of retro-inspired sunglasses from The Bespoke Dudes keeps your eyes safe from harmful UV rays (always important), and a charming bandana-slash-pocket square from Blue Blue Japan is always a nice touch.

However, the most important aspect of any outfit is how you wear it, and we suggest you channel the three members who’ve inspired this particular look: wear it while wandering the countryside, wear it will cruising in your vintage sports car, or wear it as a comfortable airport outfit – whatever you do, wear it with a little bit of spring in your step and embrace a bit of whimsy along with the warm weather.


How to Style a Leather Shirt

how to style a leather shirt jacket styleforum

 

First of all, even though it says leather shirt, we recommend wearing another shirt under it. Second of all, the leather shirt or leather shirt jacket is less tricky to style than you might think – no, you don’t see that many of them in the wild, but that shouldn’t deter you. It’s just that more movie-star friendly styles – like moto jackets and double riders – are incredibly popular, and we don’t see that changing. Opting instead for a leather shirt jacket keeps you from looking like a Harry Styles wannabe, and since the leather shirt jacket is generally a lighter-weight garment, it’s perfect for springtime.

We’re mildly obsessed with this version, made by heavy denim and leather experts Iron Heart. It’s made from a supple Japanese deerskin that’s more flexible than calf and tougher than lamb, and combined with the snap-button front and the western yoke, it’s the kind of piece that will be at home with faded blue or deep black jeans, whether you’re into Ralph Lauren or ultra-heavyweight denim. The more you wear it, the more it’ll form to your body, and with enough love (or abuse) a piece like this will look absolutely incredible.

There’s no reason you couldn’t wear said jacket over a t-shirt on the weekends, but we suggest playing up the western theme with a Jean Shop denim shirt – because why not? Faded denim looks great with black leather, and it’s also a nod to the occasional chilly spring day. And since denim and leather is such a badass combination, you might as well maximize the effect with as much denim as possible.

Speaking of, this pair of jeans from kick-ass Tokyo newcomers Nine Lives should fulfill your black denim kick. A moderate 13.5 oz denim is far more comfortable year-round than 21 oz monsters or 10 oz lightweights, and the details – such as hidden pockets on the yoke and a slanted coin pocket (to make the thing, y’know, usable) – aren’t so much gimmicks (enough with the selvage-trimmed everything) as well thought-out details. Plus, we know from experience that a well-made slim-straight cut goes with just about everything in most wardrobes.

To keep the theme of heavyweight style in a more comfortable form, we’ve chosen moto boots from arte povera darling M.A.+ to tickle your feetsies. No, they’re not ten-pound engineer boots, but that’s the idea. You get supple leather, as well as a not-quite-traditional take on a traditional style. And don’t listen to the internet noise: you can absolutely wear Maurizio Amadei’s organic shapes with more structured and traditional garments.

Finally, let’s talk about the little details: how about a pair of ridiculous sunglasses? You’re already wearing a leather shirt over a denim shirt, and you might as well keep on having fun. Rose-colored aviators from respected eyewear brand Dita add a not-too-serious 70’s slant to things, and we suggest growing a mustache to go along with them. And Montale’s Aoud Cuir d’Arabie is the perfect accompaniment to an outfit built around a leather shirt – it’s an animalic, almost medicinal oud-and-leather scent that’s been compared at various outlets to “old band-aids,” “camel urine,” “sex and leather,” and “the best B.O. anyone’s ever had.” The dry-down, however, is mellow and approachable, just like you are.

We give it a gold star.

 


1. Iron Heart Deer Leather Shirt – $1,650 at Self Edge

2. Denim Workshirt – $255 at Jean Shop

3. Slim Straight Work Jeans – $290 at Nine Lives Brand

4. M.A.+ Moto Boots – $2,250 at Idol Brooklyn

5. Dita Mach-Two Sunglasses – $700 at SSENSE

6. Montale Aoud Cuir d’Arabie – $120 at Luckyscent

How to Wear a Light Colored Suit This Spring

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When the weather’s spitting, most men turn to dark colors – navy, black, and charcoal – out of a fear of raindrops, mud, and cars driving through puddles. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it does mean that it’s sometimes just as easy to get locked into a spring wardrobe the same way as can happen during winter. With that in mind, we propose a light colored suit for springtime.

First, it’s a nice way to break up the monotony of winter. Second, khaki, beige, or ivory has a touch of old Hollywood about it, which – and this is important – makes it fun in a way other things aren’t.  In this case, we’ve chosen a beige, easy-wearing patch-pocket model from Camoshita, which certainly skews toward the casual. That gives you the option to lose the tie, which we all know is important in springtime, because who wants to wear a tie when the tulips are coming up?

Of course, to fully embrace the monochromatic look, we suggest giving a nod to unpredictable weather by wearing a classic Mackintosh. With a belt and a collar that can be turned up against the elements, you won’t be making any stylistic concessions the next time it rains – by which we mean: please stop wearing your gore-tex jacket over a suit. Thank you.

Finally, after you’ve picked your pocket square, a light scent such as Frédéric Malle’s Geranium Pour Monsieur is a nice finishing touch to match your light color palette. This one smells about as fresh as a spring shower, and opens with a pleasant blend of geranium, mint, and star anise, that later gives way to a suggestion of musk and sandalwood. Like the clothing we’ve picked, it’s a welcome burst of brightness after a long winter.

The next time you find yourself pining for some uplifting clothing, try a light colored suit and a tonal ensemble. It’s a great way to embrace springtime, and if you’re anything like us, you’ll find yourself clicking your heels as you hop over puddles.


1. Camoshita beige blazer – $880 at Mr. Porter 

2. Camoshita beige trousers (matching) – $340 at Mr Porter

3. Kamakura “Tokyo Slim” striped shirt – $89 at Kamakura

4. Mackintosh belted cotton coat – 725 GBP at Trunk Clothiers

5. Alden chukka in snuff suede – $528 at Lawrence Covell

6. Drake’s pocket square – $90 at Supply and Advise

7. Frédéric Malle, “Geranium Pour Monsieur” – $270 at Barneys

Outfit Inspiration from Gerry Nelson

how to dress like gerry nelson styleforum

It’s no secret that Gerry Nelson posts some of the better-liked outfits on Styleforum. He dresses in a very approachable mix of tailored and casual clothing, and has a great eye for colors. In particular, he often pairs an indigo, work-style jacket with either jeans or trousers, which, though simple, is a fantastically good look if you get the fit and shade of your clothing right. With that in mind, here’s an example of an outfit that at touches on some of Gerry’s sensibilities.

First, our outerwear is casual but neither sloppy nor boring. A deep indigo, such as you’ll find on this Blue Blue Japan gown coat, goes with just about anything, including the Eidos pullover we’ve chosen. A Drake’s shirt with a button-down collar is a good casual accompaniment, and will look just as good on its own with the medium-wash Orslow jeans. Finally, a pair of tassel loafers in a rich brown suede means you can easily wear this outfit into springtime, and the addition of a giant robot on your pocket square is the kind of detail that keeps your wardrobe from boring you to tears.

Now, I’ve never had the opportunity to smell Gerry Nelson in person, but I am a fan of Tom Ford’s Plum Japonais, which is a pleasantly soft and alluring blend of plum, oud, and incense. It seems a perfect fit for the deep colors shown above, and is sensual without being overbearing.

Altogether, this outfit is the very definition of comfortable, just likemost of Gerry’s looks. It’s the kind of combination of sharp and relaxed that’s perfect for most of today’s offices, as well as for most of the weekend. Gerry may have perfected his own particular style, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with similar ideas, and embrace a palette of deep, rich colors this spring.


What to Wear With a Shearling Jacket

what to wear with a shearling jacket styleforum

1. Aero Coastal Command shearling jacket

2. Rocky Mountain Featherbed liner jacket from Mr. Porter

3. Folk waffle-knit crew sweater from End

4. 4 Pocket pant from Evan Kinori

5. Goodyear-welted Julius boots in vintage leather from Peter Nappi


In my mind, there are very few things warmer than shearling. Yes, you could probably argue that one of those insulated suits made for climbing Everest is warmer than a shearling jacket, but you’re about as likely to own one of those as you are to wear it on any given day, even if you do own one. And, like most of your wardrobe, the continued popularity of the shearling bomber jacket is due to its presence in military uniform. Various military forces have adopted shearling at different points in history, but shearling is now perhaps most recognizable in bomber jacket form.

The most common models you’ll see are based on the US B3 and B6 jacket. These jackets were a very effective – but expensive – way for high-flying bomber pilots to stay warm, and were often accompanied by shearling overpants, gloves, and caps (the B6 being the lighter-weight, less bulky derivative for fighter pilots in smaller cockpits). Not only did they offer great insulation at freezing temperatures, but they would, in theory, keep the pilots alive were they shot down over open water. As rare as it is now to find someone wearing a full shearling suit, the jackets are still available in both vintage, repro, and updated form.

The one pictured here is not a USAAF jacket, but an R.A.F “Coastal Command” jacket, manufactured to original specifications by Aero Leathers. As you can see, the hood has been painted yellow – again, this was meant to serve as an indicator when searching for (hopefully) floating pilots. In addition, I think that the details visible on this later model – zipped cuffs, a belted waist – make it a touch more modern and, when worn outside the context of a war, rakish – than some of the American models.

Despite plenty of hi-tech advances in staying warm, sheepskin is still plenty effective (and popular), and you’re not limited to recognizably military-inspired models. They are, however, maybe the best for layering. Because when the temperature dips past freezing and it’s really, really cold out, you’re not going to wear just a shirt under your shearling jacket.

I’ve actually taken to wearing an Arcteryx Atom LT hoodie under a shearling (or coat) when it’s freezing which, admittedly, is not hugely fashionable. A better option is a quilted liner jacket like this one from Rocky Mountain Featherbed, especially since since it’s made of super-light and super-warm goose down. The combination of sheepskin and goose down is very, very warm, and if you add a sweater underneath you’ll be set even for nighttime. Uniqlo has a cheaper option, but you miss out on the feeling of wearing a cloud.

what to wear with a shearling jacket styleforum

My usual take on a two-piece Coastal Command outfit: shearling jacket from Cloak, insulated hoodie from Arcteryx, Evan Kinori 4 pocket twill pants, and Nonnative boots.

One thing to keep in mind when wearing a shearling jacket is that ultra-slim jeans don’t often look great due to the volume of the jacket (and the bulk of the layers beneath it), and trousers don’t really fit with such a utilitarian garment either. Most of the time I like looser denim of the ‘slim straight’ variety, which tend to be more in style now anyway, but when it’s freezing it’s nice to have a little extra room for insulation or even for a base layer (REI or even Costco have plenty – I like a wool blend). For example, this pair of four-pocket pants from Evan Kinori are even based on a USN overpant, which work particularly well if you’re after a fuller, more repro-inspired silhouette. I bought a pair last summer in indigo twill

Finally, my footwear barely changes no matter what the weather’s doing, so a good pair of leather boots is always nice to have on hand. These, from Peter Nappi fit the bill. We had the chance to see some of their wares in person at Pitti, and I think they’re very nice. I also like the way slightly more relaxed pants look with slim boots like this, especially since you can let the fabric break against the boot or roll them up with a thick cuff. It makes for an interesting look, I think. Of course, something like SF favorite Viberg would do great, as would a heavier engineer or moto boot.

Regardless, if you’ve spent any time on the forum you may have noted that I love to wear shearling jackets over a simple tee shirt. That said, it’s worth remembering that shearling (and, of course, wool) is one natural fiber that really can stand up to the worst that mother nature has to offer. This trinity  – shearling, wool, and down – works best when these individual powers are combined, like the Captain Planet of staying really, really warm. If you live anywhere with seasons, I’d wager you’ll get a lot of use out of all of the above.

Oh, and if you’re after a US Military jacket, Aero makes those too. I happen to think that a painted shearling hood would be a great thing to have on hand, though.